How much emphasis you put on justifying fashion purchases depends on how assiduously you subscribe to the “it’s a wardrobe investment” policy. Because once it’s old enough and officially vintage, then it is an investment. Isn’t it?
“Absolutely!” says Jeremy Valentine, style sleuth and co-founder of Melbourne vintage institution Shag. “It’s a brilliant investment, as long as you acquire the right pieces when they are least desirable, then sit on them.”
But in a world where fast fashion rules, is vintage fashion old hat? “There was a shift in shoppers’ consciousness,” says Valentine, “but now they want unique fashion. We can’t offer a dress for $19.95, but we can sell you a vintage one superior in style and quality.”
For novices, an interest in fashion history and a keen eye for what is current is key to successful investing. As fashion charts the return of ’80s excess, the sartorially savvy revise their wardrobes. “Fashion is reactive, so when skinny jeans go out, flares come back in,” Valentine says. And what other pieces of history are speaking to investors now? “The noughties,” he says. “We are stockpiling the appalling, but iconic, Ed Hardy label, Canterbury rugby jerseys, polar fleece quarter zips, and baggy jeans.”